Marine engineer and photographer Osama Al Zubaidi recently won the Hamdan International Photography Award. Here he discusses some of his favourite images
I have had a passion for photography since I was a kid. It became a serious hobby when I bought my first SLR camera in 2006
The winning photograph has become my favourite. It happened by chance that two of my friends were climbing the dune at that time. It wasn’t until I reviewed my photographs at home that I knew this was an excellent photograph with the potential to win!
I cannot believe that I won the grand prize. It is like a dream that I do not want to wake up from. Winning the trophy was a wonderful moment. However, it puts pressure on me to be more creative and selective when I publish new works
Gregory Heisler is a legend in the portrait field and has taken many cover photos for Time magazine. I worked with him at a workshop two years ago, where I learned about his style. I love taking portrait photos using lighting
I would prefer to stay as an amateur as it will keep the joy of this hobby. My only wish is to have more time and opportunities to take more pictures
I have travelled a lot to take photographs. I have been to Bhutan and, recently, Morocco. I always try to make sure my photographs make an impact. When I visited Ethiopia my family and friends were surprised – they wondered why I had chosen to go there and what kind of photos I would get. Upon my return they were all surprised by how beautiful the country is, and a photo I took of two little girls (below) is one of my favourites
Seeing the scene in a different way and being creative in your angle is the most challenging thing, especially in a well-known area. Take Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi: many photographers think it has been exhausted, but in my opinion, there are still different angles